Anyone ever replaced a chain and sprocket set on a motorbike?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ginger ninja, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Mine is knackered and I'm thinking of having a go at doing it myself but a bit nervous. You need a chain splitter and there seems to be a vast difference in price.

    Also the chain options are a bit mind boggling. X-ring/o-ring, gold/silver plus the link, rivet, circlip.
    Where's the best place to buy?
    It's for an old CBR600f by the way.

    Any help or advice much appreciated. Didn't put this in Mech tech as its not a bay!
  2. I’ve done a couple but on low tech ‘classic’ bikes, the last being on a 1981 Honda XL250, which already had a split link.

    In the past I’ve found it’s not worth trying a cheap splitter on a good quality chain as the splitter breaks instead.

    I tend to use Wemoto as their prices are good and customer service impossible to beat. Spec wise I just replaced like for like.

    Its a mucky job but straightforward, definitely need gloves, just make sure you fit the split link the correct way around or there’s a chance it could come off.

    There always the option to tweak the gearing; I fitted a bigger engine sprocket to the XL to raise the gearing for more relaxed riding on road.

    Good luck, let us know how you get on. :)
    ginger ninja likes this.
  3. davidoft

    davidoft Sponsor

    I’ve done a few, if the new chains fit a split link just cut the old one off with a grinder , it’s pretty easy to do, make sure the tension is correct and the wheel alignment is still good
    Iain McAvoy and ginger ninja like this.
  4. As Above, grinder to remove the old chain.
    O ring or X ring for the CBR, order from Busters or M&P, both have Ebay shops as well as web sails, have used them for years.
    Do NOT put a split link on a 600cc + motorcycle!!
    Get a chain with the "soft rivet" link and peen the rivet link on, use a honking big hammer on the backside of the link when you peen so you dont damage the new sprocket.
    Or get an endles chain and take the swing arm off.
    ginger ninja likes this.
  5. davidoft likes this.
  6. Just to play devils advocate here, I wouldn’t recommend using an angle grinder to cut the old chain off.

    It’ll do the job but it’s not the right way.

    The risks are that the hot metal shavings go everywhere and can burn or damage paint or plastic. The vent pipe for the petrol tank isn’t far away either. One slip with the grinder on a wobbly chain and it’ll end badly.

    A decent chain tool will both remove the old chain and peen over the rivet in a new one.

    Invest in one that does multiple chain sizes and it will last a lifetime.

    I’d offer to help (as I’m not far from you) but I sold my chain tool a while back and only have a shaft drive bike these days.

    Happy to come and lend moral support if you bite the bullet and buy a chain tool though.

    What chain to buy ? Go for a reputable make like DiD or Regina. It will last longer and won’t let you down. You can’t go wrong with Renthal chain wheels.

    My top tip would be to loosen the front chain wheel nut while the old chain is still on. You can then use the gearbox and rear brake to pull against while you loosen it.

    Electric wheel guns are good for the front chain wheel nut if it’s on tight.

    I’ve still got one of these

    nicktuft, Uncle Nick, Pony and 3 others like this.
  7. Crikey, this takes me back to my earlier biking days...
    As said - don't use a split link...
    Get the chain rivet tool as much less hassle than removing the swingarm to fit a factory chain (with no breaks)...

    I too have left my chain days well behind as I have belt drive :)
    ginger ninja likes this.
  8. Good advice, your CBR600 is probably double the power of my ‘81 Z650

    Are Reynolds still in existence? They used to have a factory in Team Valley close to where I worked. I got a few chains from the store man for the price of a couple of beers. Those were the days!
    ginger ninja likes this.
  9. Cheers @stirlingmoz and to everyone else. I’m going to go for it. Found the tool and kit I need on emoto. Going to wait til pay day though so the wife doesn’t beat me about the head with a calculator. Too many motors not enough time! But will probably do it over the Christmas break.

    I will let you know how I get on and if you do fancy a trip into sunny Brentford tea and biscuits (or mince pies) await!

    All the best Paul.
  10. Can't add anything to @stirlingmoz post, best advice so far.
    ginger ninja likes this.
  11. I’ve done a couple on a Vfr 800 and Vtr.
    With a decent tool its easypeasy.
    (I wouldn’t do it on my current bike tho 4x more power than the bus ‍♂️)

    Good luck
    ginger ninja likes this.
  12. I’ve got some time off over Christmas.

    Give me a shout ;)

    ginger ninja likes this.
  13. Everything has more power than a bus!
  14. Wear gloves.:thumbsup:
    ginger ninja likes this.
  15. Use the old chain to pull the new one through

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
    Moons and ginger ninja like this.
  16. Thanks very much. That’s a kind offer. Might be a bit early in December for you as I’m a teacher (Xmas hols) but I might have to drop you a line at some point nearer the time.
    All the best

  17. Hi Chris, do I do this with the old sprockets in place?
  18. Yes. Once you’ve split the chain, temporally join the new to the old with the unfastened link just pushed through, then pull the old chain off, feed the new one on and it gets pulled round the engine sprocket. Saves taking covers off etc
    ginger ninja and Soggz like this.
  19. If you’re changing the front sprocket there’s no point but if you’re just changing the back it makes the job a bit easier.
    ginger ninja likes this.
  20. Turn the bike upside down onto its handlebars and back light, makes the job sooo much easier.

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